Was Andrew Carnegie A Robber Baron Or A Captain Of Industry

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Andrew Carnegie was born November 25 of 1835 in the small town of Dunfermline in the United Kingdom. Raised in an impoverished family his parents worked hard and finally decided to find a new start in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an up and coming factory city. Working his way up from a meager factory worker to the superintendent of the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad company in just 8 years, and then creating Carnegie Steel, which he would sell for $480 million was no easy feat. At least it was no easy feat, according to Carnegie’s personal testimony at his trial last week, where he was charged with reckless endangerment, hypocrisy, and greed; all of which make him a robber baron, rather then a captain of industry. Despite Carnegie’s …show more content…

It seems that everything Carnegie did (concerning Carnegie Steel) was in some form caused by greed, and his low wages and frequent cuts were not the only actions that portrayed it. The defense’s strongest argument was Carnegie’s philanthropic efforts. By the end of his lifetime he gave away $350 million dollars, mostly to fund the creation of libraries and music halls (“Andrew Carnegie’s Story”). At face value, such an investment would seem extremely generous. However, as Carnegie was giving away millions of dollars to help the future, he was letting those who worked for him suffer under wages as lower than $2.00 a day. Furthermore, although the Lyle family was compensated under the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, tens of thousands of applications for recompense were turned away. These facts help paint a picture of Carnegie’s real philanthropic motivations; to leave himself a legacy. The Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees, in exhibit 4, describes how creating a library benefitted richer children and Carnegie’s legacy, but robbed the impoverished community who wouldn't have time to read, because their parents were working long factory hours for little

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